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India: Threats of violence against Christians continue to rise

Christianity has been a presence in India since the days of St. Thomas the Apostle. The Indian Orthodox Church, or Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church, severed communion with the Church of Constantinople in 451, over the definition of the natures of Christ at the Fourth Ecumenical Council, the Council of Chalcedon.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in India, see here.

“Threats of violence against Christians continue to rise in India,” UCA News, February 23, 2024:

A Catholic school in the northeast Indian state of Assam has sought police protection after it was threatened by Hindu extremists with dire consequences if Christian religious symbols from its premises were not removed within a week. A poster with the warning was found pasted on the wall of Carmel School in Jorhat run by Apostolic Carmel nuns.

Church-run institutions in Assam are credited for offering education to all communities, especially poor tribal people. Christian leaders say threats against the community from hardline groups increased alarmingly in the entire northeast region covering seven states.

Hardline groups have been pushing for Hindu-centric cultural nationalism for years.

In early February, a hardline group asked Christian schools to remove religious symbols such as photographs, portraits, or statues of Jesus and Mary from school premises within two weeks. It also asked Catholic priests, nuns, and religious brothers not to wear cassocks and habits in schools.

A supporter of India’s pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party wears a mask of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a political rally in northeast Assam state on March 30, 2019. Christian leaders say threats to Church-run institutions in the state are growing with Hindu groups pushing their brand of cultural nationalism….

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